The National Safety Council, the renowned nonprofit advocacy group, recently released the results of a fascinating study gauging employee feelings about workplace safety, a truly important topic given that 4,836 people lost their lives in work-related accidents in 2015 alone.
Specifically, the study, which was designed "to understand perceptions of workplace safety among the U.S. labor force," interviewed 2,000 part-time and full-time employees across 14 industries, including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing.
Some of the more noteworthy findings of the NSC's exhaustive study include:
- 48 percent of employees indicated safety meetings were held less often than necessary
- 47 percent of employees expressed a belief that performance standards are higher for job-related tasks than they are for safety
- 32 percent of employees felt that management discounts an individual employee's safety record when considering promotions
As eye opening as these findings were, they are perhaps even more shocking when narrowed to the construction industry, which saw 917 fatalities in 2015 and typically leads the nation in workplace fatalities.
According to the NSC, Americans working construction expressed the following sentiments:
- 67 percent of construction workers expressed a belief that performance standards are higher for job-related tasks than they are for safety
- 58 percent of construction workers felt that productivity and completion of job-related tasks took priority over safety
- 51 percent of construction workers felt that management only did the bare minimum required by law to keep them safe
- 47 percent of construction workers were fearful of reporting safety issues
While it's unfortunate that employees should ever have to feel unsafe while on the clock, they should derive some comfort from the fact that workers' compensation benefits will help cover medical expenses and lost wages if they do suffer some manner of injury.
If an insurer has denied work comp benefits or you would like to learn more about your options, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional.